Privacy Law Passed in Parliament
Thursday, 21st December 2000 at 12:12 pm
The Federal Government has passed its ground breaking Privacy Legislation aimed at protecting personal information, and delivered a 12-month grace period before it becomes effective.
The Attorney General, Daryl Williams says this will give business adequate time to introduce their own privacy codes that regulate the collection, storage, use and disclosure of personal information, or to meet the requirements of the new Act.
The Minister says it will also give the Privacy Commissioner a lead-in period to educate business and consumers, develop guidelines and assist in developing privacy codes.
Private sector organisations will be required to tell clients that they are collecting personal information, how it will be used and to whom it will be disclosed. Generally you will not be allowed to sell or transfer that information to a third party without consent. Organisations that use personal information for direct marketing will be required to allow customers to opt out of future direct marketing.
The legislation contains a number of exemptions for small business, for media organisations, for employee records and for political parties and representatives. Small businesses (under $3 million) and Not for Profit organisations will have the opportunity to voluntarily opt-in to the legislation.
The Fundraising Institute of Australia says it will be producing a code of practice in the New Year that will be available on its web site at www.fia.org.au.
David Zerman from the FIA says all fundraisers should be committed to taking care of their donors and developing long-term relationships and respect for their wishes.
Zerman says the FIA code of practice will encourage members to adhere to the nine national privacy principles.
He says while some organisations may have early difficulties with the requirements relating to obtaining consent for future appeals, generally Not for Profits are already operating under their own self imposed code of practice to protect the privacy of donors.
For information papers on the Privacy Amendment Bill go to www.privacy.gov.au/news/pab.html#5.